Hoboken Bar & Grill

3/20/2009 Update:

Myself and a Hoboken411 reader swung by Hoboken Bar and Grill earlier in the month for a quick bite to eat. Since it was over two weeks ago, this review will be just as quick, 411 “bullet point style!”

See the rest of the review after the jump…

Hoboken Bar and Grill – first impressions

Brief Details

  • Time: Weekday late lunch around 3pm.
  • Restaurant: Empty with the exception of a few people at the bar.
  • Staff: About half a dozen on hand. Hostess, a few waiters, waitresses and a bartender.
  • Decor: Better than previous iterations, seating area essentially the same, bar much improved.
  • Seating: Comfortable enough for a big guy.
  • Bathrooms: Didn’t have to go.

See the rest of the mini-review after the jump…

(Hoboken Bar & Grill, continued…)

More first impressions

Food

  • Appetizer – Chicken Quesadilla: Reader: Tortilla flaky, warm. Chicken not overcooked. Good mexican seasoning. Sour cream drizzled – good presentation. One of the best quesadillas she’s had in recent memory. Hoboken411: Very good, but not great. I didn’t like the drizzled sour cream, but probably better for my waistline. Bottled salsa not impressive. Fairly filling. Probably a reliable appetizer to order again.
  • Entree #1 – Steak & Cheese Sandwich: Reader: Good bread, soft – with a touch of olive oil. Steak strips tender and moist. Cheddar, onions & mushrooms, delicious additions. Chipotle Mayo pulled it all together. Really enjoyed it! Hoboken411: I just had one bite – and felt it was bland and oily.. the bread was good. Probably not a good “statistical sample” so don’t take my word on it.
  • Entree #2 – Bacon Swiss Burger: Hoboken411: Felt the burger was OK, but just average. Unless they change the meat supplier, I’ll never order this again. Everything else was of acceptable quality level – the fries had a unique taste – like boardwalk french fries… while interesting in a “gimmicky” sort of way – I believe I’d get sick of them after a while (again, probably good for waistline.) Bottom line – burger was average, and not deserved of a letter home to mom. (Reader didn’t taste this – but liked the fries)

Service / Cost:

  • Reader was impressed with the staff. I thought they did what they were supposed to do, without anything to complain about. Then again, I had my back to them the whole time, so I cannot gauge the big picture – and it was empty, so I cannot vouch how they perform at peak times.
  • Bonus: They did ask us to fill out a survey of the restaurant and staff – which leads you to believe that they care what their customers think – a nice touch.
  • Total bill was around 30 bucks plus tip. Probably a smidge on the high side for a lunch – maybe they should have different menus?

Overall Impressions:
Reader was much more elated than I was – she liked practically everything top to bottom. I’d have to say my viewpoint at this time is “inconclusive” – but while nothing knocked my socks off – I can happily say that nothing made me disgusted either – that’s not a shabby place to be.

Next visit will be to have a few drinks at the bar and see how that “vibe” is.

Anyone else try it yet?

12/8/2008:

Rodeo, Ristra, Privee, Mercy Grill – and now Hoboken Bar & Grill.”

hoboken-bar-and-grill-nj-230-washington-street.jpg

Will it succeed?

This infamous location at 230 Washington Street (next to the filthy McDonald’s) has long been home to eventually doomed establishments. I can’t figure out whether it was the awful layout of the place (tiny bar – ill-placed stairs, etc.), or just plain haunted in general.

However, new owners Paul Valenzano and Mike Citarella hope to succeed with the new bar / restaurant.

Hoping to open up in the beginning of 2009, Hoboken Bar & Grill will lose the pretentious “lounge” like atmosphere and become a basic bar/tavern with simple American appetizers and entrees. One thing that may help them last longer is the fact that they’re expanding the bar and adding over a dozen flat-panel televisions.

The business partners also run a place called Rock Cellar in West Orange, NJ – which seems like a fun place to hang out if you judge by the photo galleries on their website… (of course you need fun people to attend your place, too).

rock-cellar-west-orange-nj.jpg

If they can offer a decent atmosphere, non budget-busting food and drink (tasty and well-portioned), it’s quite possible they might stand a chance.

Only time will tell…

Description:Bar / Tavern / Restaurant
Services: Restaurant, Bar, live events, outdoor seating
Address: 230 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Website: www.hobokenbarandgrill.com
Telephone: TBD

222 Responses

  1. ricky roma says:

    that makes so little sense – 5 is a fairly average dinner group, no? i would have talked to the manager just to hear him explain his logic – i wouldn’t have stayed but i would have loved to hear that policy

  2. BklynHobo says:

    Something similar happened to me at the Quays once, and I never went back. I don’t understand some these staff that turn down business. I guarantee if the owner was there, you would have been served.

  3. hobokenj says:

    I have eaten here before with groups larger than 5 both inside and outside. i think this was a mis communication some where and not normal business practice

    • mooshu says:

      Nope. My husband was told this by both a member of the waitstaff and (surprisingly) the manager. And, believe me, he questions everything.

      “We don’t serve a party of five”.

      Very well, then. I guess you won’t earn funds plus a generous tip from a party of five either.

      We were looking forward to their brunch, too.

      Sigh. Disappointing.

      In response to hobokenj who said:

      I have eaten here before with groups larger than 5 both inside and outside. i think this was a mis communication some where and not normal business practice

  4. boohoohobo says:

    Does not sound right. That place is not like that. I have been there plenty of times with my family plus a stroller. Go in and make sure your talking to the actual managers not a waitress or waiter. That place is great and we go back all the time.

    • mooshu says:

      Um, actually, that place was “like that”. My husband spoke with both a waitress and the manager at the time. Probably the hostess, too. And I doubt that the either of them were disguised as a waitress, hostess and manager.

      Anyway, a month has gone by, and time has made the customer service better. Although we originally had no intention of returning to this place, we decided to give Hoboken Bar and Grill a second chance.

      The service was great. Our server (a young dude) was really nice. And the stuffed French Toast and omelette were damn good.

      Also have to add that the Brunch menu prices were decent. As in, unlike restaurants that charge $2-3 for a side of bacon, a few strips are included in, say, a pancake order.

      We’ll have to try going there with a party of five, again. See what happens.

      In response to boohoohobo who said:

      Does not sound right. That place is not like that. I have been there plenty of times with my family plus a stroller. Go in and make sure your talking to the actual managers not a waitress or waiter. That place is great and we go back all the time.

  5. jdross19 says:

    This place was slammin on Friday at around 7pm (must have been the Yanks vs. Sox game). But we passed a lot of other bars that were empty – this place was packed to the gills. May have some staying power….did not try the food, but they have a cool ‘beer club’ deal, ask the bartender.

  6. blaueaugen says:

    just to comment out of the blue…had a great time for the football games this past sunday! the bartenders actually do buy backs! HOORAH!!! and $2 bud, bud light pints is an awesome deal! bar food is great too! screw you 4L’s and mcswiggans, you can keep your expensive drinks, horrible bartenders who don’t do buybacks, and out of town morons for yourselves!

  7. exm says:

    blaueaugen: 4Ls has expensive drinks? I think they’re really affordable and they have a great selection.

  8. DEADMAU5 says:

    Try renting 2nd floor of Teak

  9. mattym317 says:

    the food was great, a little pricey but well worth it, but the service sucked. I had michelle as a waitress and she was HORRIBLE. she took forever to get our drink order, she brought the wrong meal, and she spent way too much time talking to other employees. i’d love to go back but she single-handedly ruined my experience.

  10. Stpaddygirl says:

    I read the above reviews about turning away service and had a similar eperience here tonight. My friend and I arrived and there were 5 open tables which seated 4 (they could also have been broken into tables of 2). We were told there was an hour wait for 2 people that they were holding the open tables for larger parties that might come in. We left and went to 4L’s after finishing dinner we walked by and 3 of those 5 tables were still open. Although the bartender is nice (been in there for happy hour) after this bad experience doubt I will be going back. All of these tables were inside also not outdoor seating.

  11. xyzpdq says:

    Some bizarre stories about this bar turning away paying customers. Whenever I pass this place it always seems empty. I guess this explains why.

  12. HomeTeam says:

    Place always looks empty and I’ve heard from several others off this board about being turned away under similar circumstances as StPaddyGirl when the place was almost empty.

    Someone should just open a place in there called Bermuda Triangle

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